Look, I am very vocal about how NA is not my favourite “genre” and until they really expand out of contemporary and into SciFi, Historical Fiction, and Fantasy, I’m probably not going to continue reading it. But what everyone (well, Dani), loves about NA is the on screen depiction of sex rather than the Fade to Black (FTB) that you typically see in YA novels. I say “typically” because there are some YA novels that have sex scenes in them that do not FTB. But I find myself skimming the sex scenes in NA rather than reading (and enjoying) them.
There are some sex scenes that I *do* read, obviously. I think Amanda Hocking does a good job with the sex scenes in the Kanin Chronicles; Dahlia Adler’s sex scenes in the Radleigh University series are graphic enough but not so graphic that I can’t read them in public; I thought Karen Kincy’s sex scenes in Shadows of Asphodel were sexy but not over the top.
However, sometimes I end up rolling my eyes so much that I just skim through to find the climax and ending of the scene to see if there is a conversation I need to read or if I can just continue onward. One of those books was SMUT by Karina Halle. I had heard SUCH good things aobut it and that it was so sexy and full of good sex, but I was meh about it. In my review, I said that the sex scenes “were well written but they were also like when you get a sext from a boy and sext him back while doing something else (like cleaning the bathroom) because I wasn't ... inspired by them.” I actually find this to be true about a lot of the sex scenes in NA novels. It is almost as though the authors want to make the sex too sexy that it comes off as unnatural.
When you are having sex with someone, you want to be with a person that you can joke around with and makes you feel extremely comfortable. You don’t want it to be a wham, bam, thank you ma’am situation or one that after you feel gross about. Sometimes I read sex in NA books and I feel gross about them. It feels like when you watch porn and you can tell the girl is just there to make some money because she has dead eyes and you have guilt for getting off to it once you’re done.
I find more and more that I am skimming the sex scenes in NA novels because to me it doesn’t matter if the characters have sex (or if I read about it) because I just want to get on with the story. This is especially true if I don’t ship the ship or if the sex is described in weird ways. I don’t want to read about hard shafts or any other weird ass terms for a dick -- and please for the love of all things in the world, do not have your characters use shampoo or conditioner as lube.
Basically, if I don’t think the sex would work for me in real life, I’m not going to read it. I want the sex to not only be hot, but also something that people actually do. And while this is super subjective, I still think it is better to have FTB rather than horrible descriptions of sex in books.